“Grow with Google is our initiative to ensure economic opportunity for everyone,” says Lisa Gevelber, founder of the program. “We’re teaching people the skills they need for in-demand, high-growth, high-paying jobs.” She notes that since the 2017 launch, 50,000 have graduated. Of those, 46% come from the lowest income tertile in the country and 53% come from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in technology.
WorkingNation sat down with Gevelber at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2021 in Beverly Hills as part of our #WorkingNationOverheard interview series. With Charting a New Course as the guiding theme, thought leaders and innovators shared ideas about the changing economy, worker development, education, tech, philanthropy, and more.
Gevelber says many community stakeholders are driving the adoption of the certificate training programs to help prepare local residents for good careers beginning as early as high school.
She offers the example of the Anaheim Union High School District in California. “They have almost 2,000 high school students who are going to be doing the Google Career Certificates as part of their classroom experience. We’re working directly also with Cypress College, which is the one right next to the Anaheim school system, for them to issue college credits for those students, as well.
Gevelber also tells WorkingNation that Google has made a $15 million commitment to expand economic opportunity in the Latino community through its Latino Founders Fund. “It’s all non-dilutive capital to help them get started. But maybe even more exciting than the capital, they get mentorship from the business community as well as technical mentorship directly from Google. We will soon be officially bringing new entrepreneurs into this program.”
She adds, “It’s based on the success we’ve had with our Black Founders Fund in which we invested $5 million in Google capital. Those founders raised an additional $50 million on the back of the $5 million we gave them. We’re seeing a real catalytic effect of Google’s investment in these entrepreneurs.”
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